Welcome to Philippe Aird's new quarterly newsletter, keeping you up to date with all the comings and goings at his Phoenix Gallery/Studio in the heart of Manchester .

Last month, Philippe has been busy painstakingly recreating two Lowry oil paintings for the BBC's Crime Watch show. The pieces were among ten Lowrys worth around £2 million that were stolen in May this year from Philippe's brother, art collector, Ivan Aird. Armed thieves tied up Ivan and threatened his young daughter's life, before making off with the treasured paintings.

As well as the two oil paintings, "the tanker entering the Tyne ' and "the viaduct", Philippe also recreated Lowry's palette, which was among the stolen work. "For any artist, it is an odd thing to have to replicate another artist's palette" said Philippe, who was just "pleased to be able to help at long last".

Public interest in this case has been high since the beginning and Philippe's family, who were all close friends of LS Lowry, are pleased that as a result of the programme four arrests have now been made.

Further to his work for Crime Watch, Philippe has continued to create and sell his own contemporary artwork from his gallery,studio in Manchester and in other gallery's around the UK . In London his work is flying off the walls, with seven of his paintings sold in four days and one selling only three hours after being put in the window.

This month additionally saw Philippe join with many other famous and unknown artists to donate work in aid of a project for Sue Ryder Care, which highlights the importance of art as therapy to the people living with conditions including Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer and Stroke victims. It is hoped that all of the works submitted will be snapped up by art lovers at a silent auction and will be displayed at a free exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London , open to the public between 13 th and 16 th December.

Philippe recently has been less than flattered to hear that another artist has been using his paintings as inspiration for his own work. Philippe first started developing his technique over fifteen years ago and has maintained his vision throughout that time, culminating in the diverse and exciting work we see today. Many of his customers see his work as a sound investment, proud to display not only his painting but also an embossed certificate, which accompanies each canvas. Although any artist is proud to display his work, Philippe shares the view of his late mentor LS Lowry when he says "art has to be worked at and believed in, the colour and composition of a piece reflects the true artist's personality".

Having recently recreated Lowry's work, Philippe understands the difficulty of doing such a task "not only are you copying the work, but you have to try and get into the artist's mind, its much easier to follow your own instincts because then you are being true to your own creativity".

At Phoenix Gallery this month, work has been progressing as Philippe continues to develop his technique and create fresh ideas. Some of the new work has stemmed from his love of planets and the gases that surround these silent orbs and has evolved into deep and mesmerising paintings. Although these are still mainly in the development stage Philippe has allowed us a sneak preview of a few he has been working on.

 

Others include new colours and a slightly more toned down approach that has led to a beautiful selection of canvases that are selling fast, with one being bought before it had left the easel.

With the increased attention from the Media after his work for Crime Watch, Philippe has found himself thrown into the spotlight with visitors such as the BBC Radio, the Manchester Evening News and a number of local newspapers. However, the down to earth artist still finds time to complete all the necessary tasks involved in running a Gallery saying, "the painting bit is the easy bit, it's the floor that's the hard part". We are left wondering if Philippe's best ideas come to him while he is on his hands and knees with the laminate and wood floor cleaner.

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